The goal of this project is to significantly improve hydrolysis of plant biomass (lignocellulose). Enzymatic hydrolysis is regarded as more sustainable than thermochemical alternatives, but is still expensive and needs improvement. The improvement will here be made by developing and producing heat tolerant enzymes with multiple catalytic domains. Typically, enzymes have one catalytic domain, but in certain organisms ‘multicatalytic’ enzymes are common, and have been shown to outcompete commercial variants. These bacteria we study live in extreme environments such as hot springs, making their enzymes highly stable and active at these temperatures (>70°), and enable higher hydrolysis temperatures than in typical industrial processes. The high temperatures lead to higher hydrolysis rates as well as reduced risks of microbial contamination.
The project is closed: 31/07/2021